French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced on Wednesday, June 10, that emergency health powers granted to the government due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic will end on July 10. The French government had been given special powers to limit civil liberties without the need for parliamentary approval as it passed the state of health emergency legislation in March. Nonetheless, the state is due to approve new legislation which will allow the government to impose restrictions on movement, make the use of face masks mandatory on public transport, shut down businesses, and ban large gatherings for the four upcoming months.
Philippe previously announced the reopening of cafes, bars, and restaurants as of June 2. Authorities will closely monitor the capital Paris, that remains an ''orange'' zone on the country's COVID-19 risk map, meaning it poses more of a risk than ''green'' zones. As a result, eating and drinking establishments in Paris are only able to serve customers on outside terraces. Museums and monuments have reopened, and access to beaches, lakes, and rivers has been restored.
A ban on traveling more than 100km (60 miles) has also been relaxed.
Additionally, as of May 11 the wearing of face masks is compulsory in selected public spaces. Public transportation has resumed at a reduced capacity with strict social-distancing rules in place. Private and public gatherings are limited to ten individuals, though all events and entertainment facilities, including cinemas, theaters, and professional leagues, will remain suspended until further notice.
As of June 10, authorities have confirmed 191,523 cases of COVID-19 in the country and 29,299 associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected over the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.